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Sept. 1, 2002

Columbia, SC –

* After viewing the film from South Carolina’s 34-24 season opening victory over New Mexico State, Gamecock head coach Lou Holtz noted that his team’s secondary gave way too much cushion in its coverage last Saturday night. “Our defensive backs didn’t play with much confidence and at times, they weren’t in the same zip code as the receivers,” said Holtz. “We had some people play well on defense, but we didn’t contain the perimeter, we didn’t cover the pass and we got hurt when the quarterback scrambled.”

* The Gamecock offense only had the ball nine possessions during the game, scoring six times. “You don’t want to go three downs and out and you want to complement your defense,” said Coach Holtz. “How well you play on defense certainly can dictate how you handle your offense.”

* Coach Holtz said that the plan was to allow senior quarterback Corey Jenkins, who was starting his first game at South Carolina, to get into the flow of the game early. “We wanted to let Corey feel his way along early in the game,” said Holtz. “He wasn’t throwing the ball particularly well in the first half, but when he settled in, he threw it pretty well in the second half. Jenkins rushed for 113 yards and threw for 166 yards and one touchdown.

* Coach Holtz was pleased with the play of the wide receivers. “James Adkisson and Matthew Thomas gave us the type of play we need at wide receiver,” said the coach.

* Coach Holtz mentioned that there could be some shuffling of personnel on the defensive side of the ball. “We may move some people around, but we haven’t really talked about personnel yet,” said Holtz Sunday afternoon during his teleconference. Holtz said that running back Gonzie Gray could get a look at cornerback and he even mentioned the possibility of looking at spur Rashad Faison at one of the corners.

* Coach Holtz said the defense needs to put more pressure on the passer. “We don’t get that many sacks and we don’t disrupt the passer enough,” said Holtz. “When you can’t rush the passer, you can’t let them complete screens and allow the quarterback to scramble, which we did against New Mexico State.” Holtz also said that after reviewing the tape, New Mexico State was “a good, sound, fundamental team.”

* There were no injuries of consequence to report. Offensive tackle Travelle Wharton suffered cramps during the game, and offensive guard Cedric Williams had a slight hamstring pull. Quarterback Dondrial Pinkins, who has been out the past two weeks with an ankle fracture, could be back by the Georgia game.

* South Carolina travels to Virginia this Saturday for a nationally televised contest against the Cavaliers on ESPN. Kickoff at the Carl Smith Center in Charlottesville is 7:45 p.m. It will be USC’s first trip to Charlottesville since the 1986 season.